Gender and sex have dominated not just the clinical aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also our response to it. From urgent and pressing issues such as domestic violence and the alarmingly high male mortality rate, to more structural and fundamental questions about the perceived value of different roles in society, it has become apparent that gender has been a crucial aspect of this global pandemic and the havoc it has caused.
However, every crisis has a silver lining, and the current situation offers an opportunity for change; change which must be well-grounded and well-carried out, too.
In January 2021, Parliament adopted a resolution on the gender perspective in the Covid-19 crisis and post-crisis period, addressing the harmful gendered and intersectional impacts of the pandemic and setting out recommendations for overcoming them. The resolution addresses infection risks, increased domestic and gender-based violence, barriers to sexual and reproductive health services, the increased burden of unpaid care work, women’s participation in the labour market and the gender impacts of the pandemic outside the EU. Parliament is clear that overcoming current and future challenges will require, ‘a gender-sensitive approach, with gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting principles reflected in all aspects of the response to Covid-19’. (Covid-19: The need for a gendered response, EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service – February2021)